Video surfaces of 16-year-old Ed Sheeran auditioning for a TV boy band - and it's hilarious

8 April 2021, 14:53

Ed Sheeran's 2007 dance audition has emerged
Ed Sheeran's 2007 dance audition has emerged. Picture: Youtube / The Ugly Bug Ball

A clip has emerged of Ed Sheeran auditioning for a boy band on short-lived TV show 'Britannia High' in 2007 - four years before he became a household name.

A 16-year-old Ed Sheeran can be seen singing and dancing in a bid to win a place at the fictional performing arts school.

The behind-the-scenes documentary footage follows the auditioning process and features Ed Sheeran and a young Pixie Lott being trying to win a place on the 2007 scripted drama show.

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The short-lived musical TV show - with an impressive soundtrack by Take That and inspired by High School Musical and Glee - was looking for six talented teens to play the lead roles and 140 hopefuls "from performing arts schools across the country" were selected to audition for the show.

16 Year-Old Ed Sheeran auditions for Britannia High (2007)

"We're looking for triple threats - they've got to be stars!" Arlene Phillips says in the video, who judges the dancing portion of the auditions.

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A young Ed Sheeran then comes on screen, performing a solo dance routine to Justin Timberlake's 'Like I Love You'.

After his audition, Arlene shakes her head and says he's "not even an option" due to his lack of polished dance moves.

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Despite Arlene's rejection, Ed makes it through to the next round and exclaims his disbelief to cameras: "I'm very surprised actually, because I can't dance." Bless him.

Ed Sheeran's 2007 dance audition for 'Britannia High'
Ed Sheeran's 2007 dance audition for 'Britannia High'. Picture: Youtube / The Ugly Bug Ball

Five years after the footage was shot, Ed took to Twitter in 2012 to laugh at his 'Britannia High' dance audition.

Fellow 'Britannia High' auditioner, dancer Danielle Peazer - ex-girlfriend of One Direction's Liam Payne - tweeted the video and tagged Ed Sheeran in it, saying: "Good effort Edward."

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Ed joked back: "People just don't appreciate my moves, way ahead of their time I tell ya."

Right, backack to 'Britannia High'...

Filmed in a building that looks suspiciously like the set of Dragons' Den, the video then goes to show the second round of the Manchester-based auditions continuing a few months later, with Ed and co returning to 'Britannia High' to battle it out in the "workshops."

Ed Sheeran dancing on 'Britannia High' in 2007
Ed Sheeran dancing on 'Britannia High' in 2007. Picture: Youtube / The Ugly Bug Ball

At 1 minute 46 seconds we also spot a young Pixie Lott who was part of the casting process - we also hear Aston Merrygold from JLS also made it through, but sadly isn't featured on the documentary.

"You need to get down, get dirty and get funky" Arlene shouts in the studio, encouraging the youngsters in their first dance class.

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Quickly singled out the 'Shape Of You' singer, Arlene turns to the camera and says: "Ed hasn't a clue what he's doing," she says pityingly, "but he's trying."

However in the next scene the singing coaches are lauding his talent when Ed sings and plays guitar: "He's great, he's quirky and his voice is classic rock singer," they enthused.

"He's [only]16, he's the real thing!"

KIIS FM's Jingle Ball 2014  Powered by LINE  - Show
KIIS FM's Jingle Ball 2014 Powered by LINE - Show. Picture: Getty

Despite enthusiasm from his voice coaches, Ed sadly didn't make it through the final round of auditions.

While he must have been devastated at the time, it wasn't long before Ed has a huge career of his own.

The young singer went on to release his debut album + (Plus) just four years later and rest - as they say - is British musical history.